Edmonton: Post-qualifying press conference, part 2

Continued from part 1 THE MODERATOR: Back to the floor for questions. Q: (No microphone.) DARIO FRANCHITTI: It's very physical. A lot of fast corners. A lot of flowing corners. I think it's a place where experience counts because ...

Continued from part 1

THE MODERATOR: Back to the floor for questions.

Q: (No microphone.)

DARIO FRANCHITTI: It's very physical. A lot of fast corners. A lot of flowing corners. I think it's a place where experience counts because it's very difficult to pick your line. When you come off that big wide runway, you got to pick the exact apex point into the lane. When there's only six or eight feet of curb, it's difficult to pick that out in a number of places. I'm getting better with each run. To come here qualifying day, stands are pretty much full, you know, we love racing in Canada. That's one of the reasons why.

Q: (No microphone.)

HELIO CASTRONEVES: I like P.T., man (laughter).

DARIO FRANCHITTI: Give him a sniff of a win and look out. I'm telling you, man. He looks good. Typical P.T. Spectacular. I think if he can get amongst it tomorrow, he will be difficult to beat.

Q: (No microphone.)

HELIO CASTRONEVES: I like this format. It gives a chance to everyone. It's a very challenge. As you can talk, it feels like a race. We're really pushing as hard as we can. You've got to use some strategy, use the right time, push at the right time. You've got to use it all.

Indy, as well. But Indy is something different. This format on a road course is great. Indy is great. I just don't like the other ones on the other ovals. But no question about it, I think on the road course, this is pretty good.

RYAN BRISCOE: I like it. I think for the fans, as long as it's explained to them in a good way, I think it's fantastic. It's a huge challenge for us in the car. It's hard work, but it's fun as well. As Helio said, I think it gives a bit more of a chance to other guys when strategy comes into play.

Q: (No microphone.)

RYAN BRISCOE: I don't know. I mean, I haven't seen the television telecast of qualifying, so I'm just saying, I'm not sure if it is explainable to the fans or not. But if it is explainable to the fans, I think that's one of the important things.

At the end of the day, we're just qualifying, setting up for the race. And qualifying, if we can put an extra show for the fans, that's what we need to do. I don't care whether we do one-lap qualifying or half a day of qualifying.

But, you know, I think this is a challenge and it's good.

Q: (No microphone.)

WILL POWER: Yeah, I mean, they're as good as you get. Penske material. But, yeah, you know, obviously they're not working on this car every weekend. Half the time they're on a sports car. So for them to come over and prepare this car, we never have problems, hardly ever have to make many changes. They do a fantastic job.

Q: (No microphone.)

DARIO FRANCHITTI: You never know, do you. You never know how that's gonna work. Obviously Will's performance in the races he's done has been pretty strong. You know, I think his experience on short ovals and stuff is -- he's not got as much experience with that style of racing, so that might have been difficult. Any race he's done, he's done a bloody good job.

SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, I agree with Dario. It's tough to forecast what anybody's gonna do. It's definitely a grueling season, and sometimes when you get into a rut, it can be pretty tough to get out. You know, Will has definitely done a fantastic job, that's for sure. By all means, it's tough to come in and try and put something together when you're competing against obviously guys that have been doing it for the whole season.

You know, where that could go, who knows.

Q: (No microphone.)

WILL POWER: Well, actually the Champ Car was even more physical. It was flat through that fast chicane, and you were going a lot faster. I'm just giving you an idea. It had a lot of downforce. But, yeah, I mean, this car feels very similar. Champ Car lap time was faster, but a very similar driving style. The way the series is, it's super competitive here. I love it. It's how racing should be.

Q: (No microphone.)

RYAN BRISCOE: I hope so. That's what we're going to try to do. As Graham said, I think it's a tough track. You know you can't make mistakes. A lot of mistakes have been made this weekend so far. It's gonna be, you know, a tough race. Lots is gonna happen. You'll have yellow flag pit stops. That could shuffle things up.

Again, it's going to be about us not making mistakes, having good pit stops, and hopefully we can hold off the rest of the guys.

GRAHAM RAHAL: For us, we got to do exactly what Ryan just said. We got to make as little mistakes as possible. If there are green flag stops, you need to save as much fuel, go as long as we can. Hopefully we can get out ahead of 'em.

The thing is certainly I think you can pass here. You know, it is easy to make a mistake. So if someone does, then it invites you to get by. But if we can make as few mistakes as possible, the one who makes the least will be the one on top of the podium. Have good pit stops, stay clean, we should be looking pretty good.

Q: (No microphone.)

DARIO FRANCHITTI: Yeah, just doing the best we can every week. You do the best you can every week, that's it. If that's a win, great. If it's not, you try and finish second.

Q: (No microphone.)

DARIO FRANCHITTI: Just all of it as usual.

Q: (No microphone.)

DARIO FRANCHITTI: I have no idea. Hopefully it does allow us to run with more passing, a more interesting show for the fans. That's what the idea is. So I think we've got an extra half hour to practice there or something at Kentucky. We'll soon find out what it does.

HELIO CASTRONEVES: I think it's great. I think it's giving everybody a chance to do better. Obviously, you know, that's what it's all about, trying to make sure that it's better and safe for everyone. Great for the fans and good for the drivers and teams, as well, and fair chance for everyone. So I just see a great way to have that. Hopefully it will be like that.

Q: (No microphone.)

RYAN BRISCOE: Hopefully it's all for the good. I think we'll just have to wait and see how the cars respond to these changes. Hopefully, yeah, I mean, it will be good grip and good racing. That's the goal. So hopefully that happens.

GRAHAM RAHAL: I think they've kind of covered everything, really. You hope that the racing's better. I think naturally racing in Kentucky should be a little bit better than our most recent oval, and certainly on our side I think we'll be pretty competitive. We're looking forward to it.

I hope that it does make the show better. But, as I said, I only did about 30 laps at Kentucky before we had a gearbox failure last year. It was exciting for me. I think I passed 10 guys in the first 15 laps. I'm looking forward to going back.

SCOTT DIXON: Yeah, I think it's a good place to start because obviously the racing is going to be far better there I think than some of the other ovals we've been to. It's quite good on the bottom, it's quite good on the middle, and you can make passes on the top. It's a little more grip dependent. The cars, definitely with the bumps and things and like that, are pretty tough. Obviously I think it's a move in the right direction. Until we get there and try it, we don't really know what's going to happen.

Q: (No microphone.)

HELIO CASTRONEVES: Everybody here knows. Actually what happened there, I haven't seen. But what I heard, as you said, it's the wrong place, the wrong time. It's very difficult for us to be talking about things like that. But certainly everyone, not only IndyCar Series, Formula One, everybody's trying to make sure that it's safe as possible - not only for the drivers, but for the teams and fans and things like that.

So it's unfortunate. It's an open-wheel car, no question about it. The only thing that's exposed out there is the helmet of the driver. So I'm sure from now on, people are going to looking into trying to improve. But certainly in America's side, you're talking about in ovals and things like that, I have to say it's been huge improvement in the ovals and everything, the HANS device, things like that.

Accident's gonna happen. But we got to keep looking to these type of accidents to improve to make it better again and safer.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

-credit: irl

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Series IndyCar